Jeff Lowe and his zoo are in trouble with the law. He has been accused of violating the Endangered Species Act and the Animal Welfare Act.
Tiger King star Jeff Lowe has been accused of inhumanly and improperly handling animals at the animal park that he took over from Joe Exotic. Tiger King is a Netflix documentary that gives viewers an inside look into the big cat industry and the story of how Joe Exotic ended up in prison. It became a cultural phenomenon when it was released on Netflix in March. Tiger King quickly became the most-watched documentary on Netflix and even surpassed the number of views for Stranger Things season 2.
Several unique people emerged as popular characters from the show including the flashy Joe Exotic, suspected husband killer Carole Baskin, and cult-like leader Doc Antle. However, Lowe was mostly remembered for betraying Joe Exotic. Lowe stepped in to help Joe Exotic after Baskin sued him over copyright infringement, causing him to suffer financially. After putting money into Joe Exotic’s zoo, he finessed the situation so that he could take ownership of it. The controversial figure was known for hiding tigers in suitcases so that he and his wife Lauren Lowe could lure women into their hotel room. After taking over the zoo, he found himself in hot water with PETA which caused him to close down the zoo in August.
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The U.S Justice Department filed a civil complaint against Lowe in the federal district court in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The official complaint, obtained by ET Canada, accuses him of opening an unlicensed park called Tiger King Park after closing down the wildlife park that he bought from Joe Exotic, now titled Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park. The complaint also accuses him of recurring inhumane treatment and improper handling of endangered species of animals. In performing these acts, Lowe allegedly violates the Endangered Species Act and the Animal Welfare Act. The complaint requests that Lowe stops the violation of these laws and surrender the animals affected by these violations. The same charges have also been filed against his wife, Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, and Tiger King LLC. The complaint details Lowe’s misconduct, reading:
“The Lowes’ animals have suffered from and continue to suffer from easily preventable or treatable conditions, which in some cases has caused the untimely death of animals, have then burned or otherwise disposed of the carcasses, including tigers, in makeshift pyres.”
Lowe has yet to comment on the charges. However, it’s not likely that they would come as a surprise to him. When Tiger King first released, many viewers accused him and the entire cast of mistreating animals. The documentary even featured a scene of him sparring with a tiger. If he was willing to talk about stuffing tigers in suitcases on camera, it isn’t impossible that he has violated wildlife laws off camera.
Trouble with the law appears to be a common theme for the Tiger King cast. Joe Exotic ended up in jail for conspiring and hiring a hitman to kill Baskin. Baskin has been accused of murdering her husband which would result in serious jail time if she was found guilty. The risk of breaking the law seems to be an inherent component of the big cat industry. Time will only tell whether Lowe is found to be guilty of these charges.
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Source: ET Canada
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